Wimpole Estate Book Conservation Project

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Wimpole Book Conservation

Wimpole Book Conservation

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Adding more water

The book conservation work is focussed on 259 books which need intensive treatment to remove water staining. Each stained page has to be treated separately, by adding more water to the page. The process is slow and methodical. It will take the team of paper conservators up to two years to finish the project.

A little drop of water that kept dripping . . .

We believe the leak was caused by a build up of snow and ice in the gutter above the Book Room. When the snow thawed, the meltwater seeped under the eaves and dripped slowly through the building into the book shelves below, only to be discovered during routine cleaning by one of our Conservation Assistants.

First aid

Once the scale of the damage was known, a specialist team was brought in to carry out ‘first aid’. They separated and dried the damp books and removed mould, which can develop in as little as 48 hours.

Using technology to melt the snow

One of the things we have done to prevent this happening again was to install trace heating along the gutter. When the air temperature drops to a certain level, the trace heating comes on and stops snow or ice forming in the gutter.